Friday, May 20, 2011

Top Ten Stephen King Short Stories/Novellas


I thought today I would list my favorite Stephen King short stories or novellas. I have always been a big fan of the short story and Mr. King who is master of the writing universe.....as far as I'm concerned....has some of the best short story collections. I am not going to include his latest collection Full Dark, No Stars because I have not finished reading all of them.
So here you go I hope you enjoy the list and maybe find a King short story you haven't read yet.
These are in no particular order

1. Strawberry Spring (Night Shift)
synopsis: An article in the newspaper causes the narrator to recall a time when he was in college and several students were killed.
why I loved it: I don't want to give anything away but the build up of this story for the twisty ending is so intense. This is a story that you will think about long after you close the book.

2. The Last Rung of the Ladder (Night Shift)
synopsis: Larry returns home from Los Angeles to find a letter waiting for him from his sister.
why I loved it: This story is so well written you can almost feel the pain Larry feels over the loss of his sister.

3. The Body (Different Seasons)
synopsis: Four rambunctious young boys venture into the Maine woods and in sunlight and thunder find life, death, and intimations of their own mortality. 
why I loved it: whats not to love? So well written, amazing characters, adventure, life lessons...what more could you ask for?

4. Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (Different Seasons)
synopsis: --the most satisfying tale of unjust imprisonment and offbeat escape since The Count of Monte Cristo.
why I loved it: The characters in this story are wonderfully written. It is impossible not to root for Andy the wrongfully imprisoned man. His eventual escape is the most satisfying ending ever. The movie is awesome to by the way!

5. Jerusalem's Lot (Night Shift)
synopsis: Charles and his companion, Calvin McCann, have gone to live in the house, which is called Chapelwaite. Almost immediately Charles and Calvin noticed strange things about the house. First, there are the strange reactions of the people in the nearest town when they learn where the gentlemen live.
why I loved it: Vampires at their best. Fabulous creepy house with strange noises=awesome!

6. Home Delivery (Nightmares and Dreamscapes)
synopsis: Maddie Pace is a young, pregnant widow whose husband recently died in a fishing boat accident. When reanimated dead bodies start attacking the living, the only defense is to destroy the dead and burn the pieces. It isn’t long before Maddie must confront the zombie of her dead husband and decide if she is strong enough to watch him die all over again.
why I loved it: ZOMBIES enough said.

7. All That You Love Will Be Carried Away (Everything is Eventual)
synopsis: A man checks into a Lincoln Nebraska Motel 6 to find the meaning in his life.
why I loved it: Alfie collects bathroom graffiti...he writes the ones he finds interesting into notebooks....how cool is that? However he is struggling with life changes and I think we can all relate. The story ends with him counting down to either writing a book or killing himself.

8. Children of the Corn ( Night Shift)
synopsis: In an attempt to save their marriage, Burt and Vicky Robeson, a bickering couple, are driving to California for vacation. As they drive through rural Nebraska, the couple accidentally hit and run over the body of a young boy who ran into the road escaping unseen assailants.
why I love it: Kids are creepy! This story scared the bejesus out of me....If you have only seen the movie which is Great! you should read the story....so much scarier.

9. The Gingerbread Girl (After Sunset)
synopsis:  Em, who after suffering a devastating loss, starts running. Soon Em runs from her husband and her home all the way to the airport. Looking for solace, Em's running takes her to the Florida Gulf where she settles into the loneliest stretch of Vermillion Key. Once there Em keeps up her running until one day she makes the mistake of looking into the driveway of a man named Pickering. Pickering also enjoys the privacy of Vermillion Key, but the young women he brings there suffer the consequences. Will Em be next?
why I loved it: Sometimes I want to run from my husband.....just kidding...ahem....Em is a great character who deals with her loss the best way she can that is why I like her and this story. Pickering is a creeper and he gets what he deserves in the end.

10. The Sun Dog (Four Past Midnight)
synopsis: A young boy receives a Polaroid camera for his birthday. There's something wrong with his gift, though. Every picture features a menacing dog that approaches the foreground in each subsequent photograph.
why I loved it: This poor kid gets the camera he has been wanting and the damn thing is defective. Honestly the idea of the dog coming closer and closer in each photograph he takes is really scary as hell!


So there you have it! Are there any you would like to add?

Have A Fabulous Friday!




7 comments:

vinobaby said...

What about some stories from Skeleton Crew? For some reason The Mist freaked me out more than any of his other stories besides It. My Dad still teases me about it whenever it is foggy out. Or Survivor Type: I read this aloud in high school as a dramatic literary reading. For some reason, my teacher still liked me even if most of the girls in class were completely grossed out. I also liked The Raft from that compilation.

You have some fabulous ones listed as well. The Body and Shawshank Redemption are classics for even non-horror readers.

Cheers.
VB

stacey said...

Nice list! I love short stories, too! I haven't read them all, and the ones I have read, it's been awhile! I may pick them up for weekend reading, thanks!

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Great post, Jennifer. Informative and quirky, what more could we want?!

Melissa said...

I love to read your lists of favorites. It is fun to compare but mostly to make me remember to update my list with the good old books instead of always just getting new books to read.

Dawn Brazil said...

I love Stephen King. I haven't read all of these and now you've got me wanting to read them. I purchased his latest collection of short stories a few months ago. I loved it.

Julie said...

I love your lists. I haven't read all of these and now I'm anxious to get started on them. I think my favorite that I've read is Rita Haworth and the Shawshank Redemption, amazing story and one of my all-time favorite movies.

Great post!

Da Prophet said...

Survivor Type! When King goes to a place he goes all the way. I read that story in disbelieving horror with my jaw dropping a little bit more every sentence.

Crouch End. Fascinating to me that with a story written in the style of someone else, King could create a piece that is scarier than anything I've ever read by either he or Lovecraft.

Trucks. Who writes a scary story about freaking trucks taking over the world? Who? Why, Stephen King of course.

Grey Matter. Eeeww.

Excellent post! I actually had forgotten all about Strawberry String but yeah, that's a great ending!

 
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